Coral bleaching has been devastating reefs all over the world.
One of the world's most famous reefs, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, has been hit by its third mass coral bleaching event in the last five years.
The enormous reef is so big it can be seen from space, and is protected by the World Heritage for its "enormous scientific and intrinsic importance". But scientists say that warmer sea temperatures in February this year may have caused huge damage to the reef. During 2016 and 2017 the Great Barrier Reef suffered its worst mass bleaching event for years, wiping out two thirds of its coral. Scientists are worried that the reef hasn't had enough time to recover from this last bleaching, so that's why this current event is particularly bad news. So just what is coral bleaching, and what is being done to stop it?
Did you know? : Coral reefs are home to 25% of the world's marine species - they're like the Amazon rainforest of the seas.Some reefs also provide a home to species that can't be found anywhere else on Earth.Coral reefs also help to protect against coastal erosion which can damage cliffs and beaches.
What can be done to stop this bleaching?
Did you know? : Many types of coral have a special relationship with tiny plant algae called zooxanthellae - that live in the coral. Zooxanthellae are also responsible for giving coral their bright and pretty colors!